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The state of organized social life

By David Patrick Columbia on July 30, 2020 | New York Social Diary

Thursday, July 30, 2020. Another very warm day in a very warm (and humid) week in New York. It’s the kind of weather where you’re glad to get inside to get out the heavy air.


The temp falls into the low 80s, high 70s in the evening, so it’s bearable and even pleasant enough for those of us eating out.


Outdoor restaurants have sprung up all over the city occupying parking lanes and sidewalks. It’s a treat right now for us New Yorkers who like to get out with others.


Organized social life is its quietest in New York at this time of the year. This whole pandemic thing has added to the lack of activity. Although it has also taken us to a new — and obvious — way of gathering people together for a cause. And that is the ZOOM effect where you host your “virtual” party on camera so that everyone appears together — but separate. It’s a kind of tele-social event. Compared to the actual physical gathering of people together for a fund-raising purpose, the idea of virtual does not appeal to my curiosity. However, I’ve “attended” two so far and I must admit I was very impressed and watched with pleasure and surprise.


The China Institute and Yue-Sai Kan’s China Beauty Charity Fund (CBCF) co-presented this year’s China Fashion Gala 2020 via Zoom, of course!


A fund-raising gala a la black tie and dress-up for dinner at one of the city’s major ballrooms has become the classic way to appeal for major funds. It’s in the ticket price for starters with more raised during the evening with auctions. The rest is dinner, maybe dancing, some speeches and occasionally entertainment. And if it started at 6:30 or 7, you’re very possibly out and on your way home by 10:30 at the latest. During the season there are often more than one or two of these a night in New York. And they raise many millions for many philanthropies.


A “virtual” fundraiser is not a fashionable event because the attendees are mainly at home watching it all on their televisions. However, last Thursday night, July 23rd, The China Institute and Yue-Sai Kan’s China Beauty Charity Fund (CBCF) co-presented the China Fashion Gala 2020 virtually for the first time, and it was a big hit!


Yue-Sai Kan kicking off the China Fashion Gala 2020.


The evening was hosted by Yue-Sai, who is co-chair of China Institute as well as founder and chairwoman of CBCF. Yue-Sai herself is a fascinating woman. Chinese, she came to New York as a young woman with a musical background. Working at a job in a PR agency in those early days in New York, she was “discovered” by some Chinese filmmakers doing a series on New York for a China audience.


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